After studying art history and theatre science at the University of Vienna, Astrid Heubrandtner AAC transferred to the College for Photography followed up with one year in Paris working with and alongside professional photographers. She then studied Cinematography and Production at the University for Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.
At the same time she was working as an electrician, 2nd camera assistant and focus puller and operator on various film projects in order to gain a broader experience on film sets.
A couple of years after graduation she began her PhD study and received her doctorate degree cum laude in 2004: Interdisciplinary studies at the University Vienna together with the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (doctoral thesis: David Lynch and his pictorial language in his paintings and features)
Since 1998 Astrid has worked as a freelance cinematographer/DOP on more than 30 documentaries and feature films but also with various artists on experimental/ avant-garde films and presentations for exhibitions. Her list of works includes “Marhaba Cousine“ and “My house stood in Sulukule“, two documentaries which she also directed.
She has taught at various film schools, most notably as Professor for Cinematography at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Astrid is a member of dok.at, FC-Gloria Frauen Vernetzung Film, Cinematographinnen.net, ICFC International Collective of Female Cinematographers, Akademie des österreichischen Films and the European Film Academy.
Since 2009 she has been the president of the AAC, representing Austria at IMAGO where she was a guiding member of the Master Class Committee from 2007 until 2019 organizing 5 amazing IMAGO “Inspiration” international Cinematographers Forums, alongside her Committee colleagues.
Astrid has a strong belief in the following: “Cinematographers never accept national borders because our profession is international. It is very important to unite across borders to create a common political awareness, to be able to increase the image of our profession but also about the way films are produced. We not only watch films from colleagues from all over the world we learn from personal exchange. One crucial part of our work is the fact that Cinematographers are the first ones seeing the movie while looking through the viewfinder. It is important to have this discussion about what we do as DOPs, how the picture language is developing. IMAGO functions in my opinion as the international platform for this process. One challenge of being a cinematographer is to find sensible images amongst the huge number of images devoid of meaning. To find the best possibility out of thousands of options is in my point of view a big part of the professionalism.”
“As President of the AAC I try to offer a platform to discuss this amongst colleagues. Besides that, I think for our profession as cinematographers it is important to exchange technical issues as well as to benefit from cross-generational mentoring. Playing an active part in the configuration of the Austrian film industry, an important role of the AAC is to help shape besides aesthetical issues, the cultural and social political issues of the industry.”
Astrid is a gifted cinematographer, with a creative and sensitive eye who has worked in many countries including France, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Turkey, USA, Syria and Egypt. Astrid currently lives in Vienna and is a truly worthy recipient of the 2020 IMAGO INTERNATIONAL HONORARY MEMBER AWARD.